I remember church members, who in my less than accepted opinion, found nothing wrong with jumping from Palm Sunday to Easter. One said, “Hey, the crown is worn by Easter…that’s all that matters.”
And then, after moving to Leander, Texas, which is not exactly, theologically speaking, progressive, I shuddered. A very large church, certainly not one of the United Church of Christ or Disciples of Christ, had in neon lights: EASTER SERVICE GOOD FRIDAY NIGHT. It was on my grocery store route, so I changed routes. Figured to “visit” with their pastoral staff on “What happened to Good Friday?” was hopeless.
Point here is we may want to miss Good Friday, but in the pulse walking of each single one of us, Good Friday doesn’t miss us. That doesn’t mean we are masochistic. That doesn’t mean we are evil, although I am becoming persuaded that evil is too much in charge these days. In our personal world, I would wager, you could, right now, name a personal Good Friday moment. But, that’s not the point of this blog.
The point of this blog, even though it may be loosening its grip: GOOD FRIDAY DOESN’T WIN. I believe, and have lived most of my days [exceptions do happen] that GOD WINS.
Although in certain times, that may be challenged. To that end, and it was the launch moment for this blog, I read Joanne Carlson Brown’s Caring Bridge note from last night. I have shared how important Joanne is to me in our spiritual journey. She’s a Methodist Minister and Professor in West Seattle. She and her spouse, Christie, were married by their District Superintendent [yeah!] a few years ago. Christie struggles with a horrific brain tumor. Then this morning.
Here’s Joanne’s comment…and my heart cries for them:
Monday night 9/18 late
Journal entry by Joanne Brown — 7 hours ago
“Been a hell of a day. First, my right knee has been bothering me off and on for a few years but the last 2 months it has been excruciating. So finally went to oath surgeon. She said: Do you know how bad your knee is. I said I know it hurts. Then she showed me the x ray and it is bone on bone and she says I need a knee replacement. I explained why this wasn’t going to happen as I am sole caregiver for Christie so she gave me a cortisone injection and said it would take a few days to work. I am waiting. Then this afternoon, Christie fell getting out of bed – she has been sleeping most of the day yesterday and today and is nauseous from chemo – and hit her head on the bedside table and got a good gash on her arm. Naturally I was scared and concerned so I called 911 and they took her to hospital. 7 1/2 hours, one CT scan, one MRI and they told us we could go home. I have put her to bed and am lying on heating pad as my back is also killing me. Waiting for insurance to authorize the bone scan my dr wants me to have. I am bushed. Could this day get worse? Except that we are in our new home, albeit surrounded by boxes but it is very good, so there is that. Now to bed finally.”
What can be done? For sure. I have worshipped with the members of Tibbett’s UMC in West Seattle. They are better than ever, in helping Christine and Joanne. Their Bishop has provided “family leave” for Joanne. Yet, knowing the bone-on-bone knee situation, not time to look away.
What about us? Most of you know me…sorta at least. What I ask is for you to join me today and as often as you can, to name Joanne and Christie in your prayers…that they know they are not alone, that they know God will never abandon them and that Good Friday will NOT win. Please do that…please.